- Illustrate the significance of the healthcare policy in care settings and the community at large.
- Explain how healthcare settings can be a drug-free zone
Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies
With the increased access and debates on the legalization of some drugs, such as medical marijuana, they have proliferated in almost all sectors. The use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) has been restricted by designing measures to enhance the safety and health of patients and health professionals. Health regulations aim to foster an enabling environment, respecting other’s rights, and promoting individual responsibility (Gakh et al., 2019). A health guideline has to be aligned with federal and state laws. Health professionals and patients are obliged to conduct themselves or other persons consistent with the laws. Medical experts are assumed to be sober and considered to be fully responsible for their actions and wellbeing. In such regard, all behaviors that are likely to undermine the quality of care should not be condoned. For example, alcohol and substance use and abuse in the working environment are often associated with poor patient management (Pidd et al., 2016). Therefore, I believe that the question of whether or not to consume alcohol and other drugs is predetermined by prevailing laws and internal measures within the organization.
To ensure that patients can assist in reporting AOD-related contents, hospital managers have developed a reporting system that will be used for reporting the safety and welfare of all workers and patients. Even though every US health care facility has to adopt the AOD policy, local reinforcement has been evidenced in some institutions (Gakh et al., 2019). For instance, this issue warning against health professionals who turn to work under the influence. Alcohol or other drug vendors are prohibited from operating with healthcare facilities since it undermines the efforts of achieving a positive, safe, and controlled environment. Hospital managers have also restricted the possible distribution and sale of substances by applying the policy to guests and visitors within the care settings.
Moreover, the AOD policy promotes responsive engagement among health professionals or patients. Such consideration helps address the increased reluctance among staff members over the conduct of a colleague or patients due to fear of repercussion in their code of conduct. The perceived barriers present a significant challenge in implementing AOD policies in care settings since administrators or risk assessors cannot be present with the health professionals and patients in every shift and always (Pidd et al., 2016). Motivating the medical staff to report such incidences makes it easy for the health facility to overcome life-threatening emergencies from AOD, like drug overdose or alcohol poisoning.
Employee substance use has a negative reputation in the health sector. Drunken workers are more prone to medical errors, engage in workplace fights, and demonstrate withdrawal signs and frequent absenteeism. Through the implementation of the AOD policy, health institutions can identify and manage issues affecting their workforce, especially alcohol and other drugs. AOD policy is more inclined towards curbing employee’s use of drugs and substances to create a safe and healthy working setting (Gakh et al., 2019). Health administrators might implement AOD policies through written instructions to prohibit the use of substances at work. They can also offer guidance and counseling, and drug screening services to the potentially affected workers. Moreover, organizational policies within the health facilities need to influence or shape the actions of the health professional into acceptable behavior.
The other important program that provides healthcare for people is Medicaid. Previously, it was a social security program that was available only to the poorest segments of Americans. Millions of Americans, including the middle class, are eligible for registration in the Medicaid program thanks to changes in this program, enshrined in the Affordable Care Act (Meinhofer & Witman, 2018). Other factors determining eligibility for the enrollment include the value of the insured person’s property, disability, and pregnancy. Like the AOD, Medicaid also provides assistance in paying for the treatment of diseases such as alcohol, nicotine addiction, drugs and assists with everything connected with the birth of a child or the treatment of psychological diseases.
The US law requires states to provide a certain minimum of services under Medicaid. These are “mandatory benefits” that include doctor services, hospitalization and hospital stay, family planning, health center services, care home services (Andrews et al., 2018). States are allowed to add additional, government-approved options to the list of medical services provided under Medicaid. The advantage of the policy is that the distribution between states of the federal health budget under the program is inversely proportional to the per capita income in the state (Sommers & Gruber, 2017). However, high rates of growth in health care costs often do not correspond to the growth rate and the level of quality of medical services. This leads to the fact that with the world’s most significant health spending, the resulting health indicators of the US population lag behind those of other economically developed countries, which indicates the low efficiency of health care in the country.
I believe that AOD policies are promising in revolutionizing the healthcare industry to reduce the adverse outcomes associated with employee alcohol and drug use. Such consideration shows the role of supportive policies in improving the overall healthcare performance. Medicaid is a health insurance program for those who are in financial need. This program is controlled by the Federal Government but is implemented with some differences in each state. The expansion of Medicare is based on an agreement between the doctor and the patient, ensuring more successful and effective delivery of medical care.
Andrews, C. M., Grogan, C. M., Smith, B. T., Abraham, A. J., Pollack, H. A., Humphreys, K.,… & Friedmann, P. D. (2018). Medicaid benefits for addiction treatment expanded after implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Health Affairs, 37(8), 1216-1222. Web.
Gakh, M., Coughenour, C., Assoumou, B. O., & Vanderstelt, M. (2019). The relationship between school absenteeism and substance use: An integrative literature review. Substance Use & Misuse, 55(3), 491-502. Web.
Meinhofer, A., & Witman, A. E. (2018). The role of health insurance on treatment for opioid use disorders: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion. Journal of health economics, 60, 177-197. Web.
Pidd, K., Kostadinov, V., & Roche, A. (2016). Do workplace policies work? An examination of the relationship between alcohol and other drug policies and workers’ substance use. International Journal of Drug Policy, 28, 48-54. Web.
Sommers, B. D., & Gruber, J. (2017). Federal funding insulated state budgets from increased spending related to Medicaid expansion. Health affairs, 36(5), 938-944. Web.